As the superbowl bound Seahawks get ready for the big game next week, they are getting a big thumbs down. But not just from Pittsburgh Steelers fans, the thumb in this case is maroon.
A&M and the Seahawks are in what some might call a turf war over the phrase 12th Man. The Seahawks use the term to describe their boisterous fans, the franchise even retired the number 12 jersey in 1984. However, A&M has been using the term since 1922 and registered the trademark in 1990. Now A&M says since 12th Man belongs to them, legally speaking, the Seahawks can't use it.
"It was a part of A&M before it was a part of Seattle and their football and since it takes away from the tradition and what everybody sees A&M using, it could be confusing," said Mindy Gallardo, Texas A&M student.
"They don't have the tradition, so in a sense it's a detriment for Seahawks. They don't have the tradition, the well founded tradition, that A&M has of the 12th Man," said Karthik Benkatrha, Texas A&M student.
The university has sent a cease-and-desist letter to the team. In his Weekly Wednesday internet column, A&M athletic director Bill Byrne said many Aggies have contacted him about the Seahawks "brazen use of the 12th man theme."
"Being an Aggie and the whole 12th Man thing it means so much to everybody here and its just amazing to see how much spirit that people have," said Gallardo.
"It's about honor and integrity that's what the 12th Man symbolizes and the Seahawks don't have that. They're just using it as a commercial bid," said Benkatrha.
This isn't the first time Aggies have had to fight for the 12th Man. They had similar a run in with the Buffalo Bills and Chicago Bears, but those teams quickly responded, so far Seattle has not.
"I think they should realize that their not going to get the true value of the 12th Man and the 12th Man is something we hold sacred," said Benkatrha.
It was reported yesterday the pro shop in Seattle was sold out of number 12 jersey's and number 12 flags. But if the battle continues, A&M's last resort will be to take the franchise to court. A play that could be costly for both sides.